Andrew Norwood brings contemporary art to St. Cloud gallery

in Creative Arts/Lifestyle by

When people think of rural Minnesota, they imagine cornfields, farmland and the beginning of the Great Plains, but to artist and photographer Andrew Nordin, he sees those sights through a different lens.

Nordin’s Gallery of paintings has been on display at the gallery across the street from the Paramount Theater for the last month as part of the organization’s monthly feature local artist display. They’ve been up since mid-January.

Nordin uses abstract shapes and colors to recreate the scene of his paintings.

The Paramount said it invites serious master artists to present in the gallery and they decide which pieces of their work they want to put up. They can either select new pieces of work for their showing or they bring back old material and create a particular theme for their time there.

A recreation of what appears to be a barn door.

Executive Director for the Paramount Center for the Arts Bob Johnson said Nordin has a distinct way he paints his pictures. For those viewing them for the first time, without an understanding of where the photo was taken, it’s hard to interpret the original picture.

“Andrew travels the rural areas of Minnesota and takes photographs of a barn, a sign or a silo and reinterpreted the photo in a contemporary way,” Johnson said.

What Johnson means by “reinterpreted” is painting a number of abstract lines and using vibrant colors to mimic the original scenery, but he gives it a little more of a magic touch, often making the original picture unrecognizable with a variety of lines and colors.

Nordin had several paintings up at the gallery.

“He [Nordin] likes color,” Johnson said. “He likes repetition, you can see it in some of his paintings, particularly some of the circular work, you can see patterns. I think some of those patterns are elicited from the structure themselves.”

The number of people who come in and look at the gallery can vary, especially since it’s open during the work week. People usually stop in from time to time since it’s downtown, The Paramount says 80 to 90 people per exhibition is typical and depending on the artist, 40 to 50 people at the opening reception.

Title of the gallery.

Johnson also mentions he thinks it’s important that community art is recognized because it defines so much of the human experience.

“Art is essential for any community. It causes people to think about who they are, where they live, what they do, [and] how they relate to one another. Through art, we can see ourselves, see other people and better understand people. Art has the ability to change people’s hearts.

The Gallery is up until Feb. 3 and for more information on upcoming galleries and events, check out Paramount’s website at www.paramountarts.org